Cardinals sweep Lions in Regional opener

The Garner-Hayfield/Ventura volleyball team used an aggressive offense to defeat Clear Lake in the opening round of Regional volleyball Monday night at Garner.  The Cardinals swept the Lions, 25-15, 25-15, 25-7.

The Cardinals will now advance to play a familiar North Iowa Conference foe in the Regional Semi-final match at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31.  Forest City defeated Central Springs 25-11, 25-11, 25-19 to set up the NIC battle.  During the season the Cardinals topped the Indians 3-0 in their first meeting in mid-September.  Forest City then defeated the Cardinals twice in October, 2-1 and 3-2, to capture the NIC Tournament title.  

The Cardinals took control of the match with Clear Lake with their powerful offense.  

“The girls’ strongest part of their game was their passing, which allowed us to have an aggressive and successful offense,” said GHV Coach Kelsey Steffens.  

Power hitter Emily Mathews led the Cardinal charge with 12 kills, putting her over the 1,000 kill mark during her high school career.   She also scored nine points using her jump serve. 

“GHV came out and were operating on all cylinders,” said Clear Lake Coach Scott Swenson.  “They have a dynamic player in Emily Matthews. We tried to contain her at the net,  but were unsuccessful. They are a very nice volleyball team and should go far in the tournament.”

Mathews’ power game was complimented by the play of MacKenzie VanGerpen, who smashed eight kills in the match.  Shelby Rayhons had six kills and Hannah Lau put down five.  

Courtney Younge effectively set up the Cardinal offense with 28 assists.  She also hit a career milestone, going over 1,500 career assists. She was also the leader at the service line with 21 points.  Three of her serves were aces. 

Mathews and Emily Spilman scored nine points apiece on serve, while Rayhons scored six. Mathews and Rayhons each had three aces.  

On defense, Rayhons and Spilman had eight and seven digs respectively.  Courtney Younge and Miranda Frederick each had five digs.

Clear Lake statistics were not available at press time.  The Lions end the 2013 season with a record of 8-26.

“I know in the future, with the returning players that are coming back for Clear Lake volleyball, the Lions will be good,” added Coach Swenson.

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